online dating http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1109/all en-US How to Avoid a "Sweetheart Scam" http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-476845526.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to avoid a sweetheart scam" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The &quot;Sweetheart Scam&quot; is nothing new, but the internet and dating sites have made it much easier to pull off. Scammers scour online profiles and use their charm to convince the victim that it's love at first sight. Before they know it, they're handing over all their money and valuables. Then, the scammer moves on.</p> <p>The FBI reports that <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/news-podcasts-inside-sweetheart-scams.mp3/view" target="_blank">losses from sweetheart or dating scams</a> have doubled in the past 10 years to between $15,000 and $20,000 per victim.</p> <p>It's a horrible crime. But, you can use these tips to avoid it, or stop someone you know from getting taken in by this heinous con.</p> <h2>1. Try not to get involved with anyone right after a relationship</h2> <p>Be wary about getting involved with someone else soon after an ended relationship. The sweetheart scam preys especially on those who are divorced, widowed, or recently single.</p> <p>At this time, you're at your most vulnerable. You're emotionally unstable, and you may be craving the attention of a new partner. You are more likely to be open to suggestion. Scammers are superb at reading your emotional state and manipulating you. So, be aware of anyone who approaches you soon after a break up of any kind, and if money comes up, walk away.</p> <h2>2. Don't give money or valuables to anyone</h2> <p>You could have met the nicest person in the world. They seem kind and honest. They are charming. They tell you everything you want to hear. But, pretty soon after laying this groundwork, the requests come in for money and valuables.</p> <p>They're small at first. They may ask for a few bucks to help cover a phone bill until payday, and they promise to pay you back. However, the requests will only get bigger as they gain your trust. Before you know it, you're handing over hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to someone because you genuinely think they love you. All they love is your cash. Once they have bled you dry, they'll move on. Don't give anyone money until you have a long, proven relationship, and know everything about them.</p> <h2>3. Research your new sweetheart<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Never take anyone at face value. The internet has given scammers an incredible resource. They can find images of people they want to look like, create fake websites, steal personal videos, and even create hundreds of phony friends.</p> <p>Even if everything is going great, do some digging. It doesn't hurt to do a background check; they're inexpensive and can give you a great deal of information. If you discover they have horrible credit and a history of bad debts and dubious deals, you may want to ask them about it. Do a reverse image search on their photos. Are they who they say they are? Are they insanely good looking? Check phone numbers. Check places like LinkedIn and Google+ to see if the information they have told you checks out. It never hurts to be too careful. If they're too good to be true, they probably are.</p> <h2>4. Talking on the phone isn't enough</h2> <p>There's nothing wrong with beginning a long-distance relationship, and for thousands of people every year, it works. But scammers love to operate over phones and emails. They'll refuse to show their real face, or meet in person. You've probably seen Catfish, the MTV show, and know how this goes. Fake photos, fake Facebook and Twitter profiles, sometimes even phony voices. Although seeing someone's face over a video call like Skype won't automatically protect you from a scam, it's a step in the right direction.</p> <p>If you get resistance, and a bunch of excuses, block this person. There is no reason someone cannot video chat in this day and age. Technology is dirt cheap, and even libraries have computers with webcams.</p> <h2>5. Find a safe place to meet and talk</h2> <p>If you want to avoid a sweetheart scam, meeting someone in person is essential. You'll get a much better impression of them face to face. So if you've reached the point where you're ready to meet, do it in a safe place. That is not your home, and it's definitely not their home.</p> <p>You are looking for a place that is well known to you, is occupied by people and/or staff, and has an easy way for you to leave. A public park is fine if it's during the day and plenty of people are around. But your best bet is usually a busy coffee shop or restaurant. These days, many bars and restaurants are staffed with people who know about the dangers of meeting people online. They may have notices posted in the bathrooms, providing code words that you can use to get you out of the situation.</p> <h2>6. Be wary of an early &quot;I love you&quot;</h2> <p>Do lightning-fast romances happen? Of course. Are two people meant to be together, and feel it the second they meet? Yes, sometimes. But the vast majority of people fall in love over time. You get to know the person intimately. You find out their flaws, and love them for every single one. You meet their family and friends. It's a process. If someone you meet blurts this out after a week or two, alarm bells should be ringing.</p> <h2>7. How's their grammar?</h2> <p>Many sweetheart scams originate in places like Nigeria, where English is a second language. Although technology like Google Translate helps to disguise this, you should pick up on mistakes that feel weird. This is not to say you should become a grammar Nazi, but if the texts and emails you get are worded in an odd way, with spelling errors most people wouldn't make, you may want to do some digging. Of course, talking on the phone, video chatting, and meeting in person would easily clear up this particular point of contention.</p> <h2>8. Listen to your friends and family</h2> <p>There's an expression that directly applies to sweetheart scams; you can't see the forest for the trees. When you become involved with someone, the heart rules the head for a while. You can get caught up in the other person so much, you don't see the obvious; that they're taking you for a ride.</p> <p>So, during this time, listen to your friends and family. At first, they may just give you subtle hints. But as you begin handing over money, they will usually raise the red flags and tell you to get out of the relationship. Don't ignore them. If they suspect your new love is not all he or she appears to be, take a step back. Do the research. They may be wrong, but if enough of them raise concerns, you should be worried.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-predatory-lending">How to Protect Yourself From Predatory Lending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-sopa-and-how-will-it-affect-you-0">What Is SOPA, and How Will It Affect You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/technology-hacks-for-the-international-traveler">Technology Hacks for the International Traveler</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-surprising-ways-your-identity-can-be-stolen">18 Surprising Ways Your Identity Can Be Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Technology con artists Internet manipulation online dating online relationships sweetheart scams theft warning signs Wed, 05 Apr 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Paul Michael 1921002 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Which Online Dating Service Is Right for You http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-which-online-dating-service-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-which-online-dating-service-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop-4845541-small.jpg" alt="woman using laptop" title="woman using laptop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread&#39;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on which dating service is right for you, achieving anything, and staying ahead of a disorganized boss.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://lifehacker.com/which-online-dating-service-is-right-for-me-1506628817">Which Online Dating Service is Right for Me?</a> &mdash; If you are looking for a dating site with with advanced dateology, try OkCupid or Zoosk. [Lifehacker]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Get-More-Willpower-33521396">Achieve Anything With These 8 Powerful Willpower Tips</a> &mdash; If you want to achieve anything, relax and make small deadlines. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://timemanagementninja.com/2014/01/how-to-stay-ahead-of-a-disorganized-boss/">How to Stay Ahead of a Disorganized Boss</a> &mdash; To stay ahead of a disorganized boss, over-communicate with them and ask for feedback. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="http://www.johnnymoneyseed.com/how-life-works/easy-road-hard-road/">The Easy Road and The Hard Road</a> &mdash; Stop letting yourself be advertised to unless products will actually save you money. This will help you avoid leading the normal consumer lifestyle. [Johnny Moneyseed]</p> <p><a href="http://sweatingthebigstuff.com/start-investing-pity-party-excuses/">sStart Investing, No Pity Party, No Excuses </a> &mdash; Don&#39;t use the excuse of not having the budget to invest keep you from investing. [Sweating the Big Stuff]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2014/01/19/9-ways-to-never-regret-another-day-of-your-life/">9 Ways to Never Regret Another Day of Your Life</a> &mdash; To never regret another day of your life, let go of disappointments and take calculated risks. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.dumblittleman.com/2014/01/5-ways-to-help-you-get-started-on-your.html">5 Ways To Help You Get Started On Your Most Important Work</a> &mdash; Buddying up to get accountable can help you get started on your most important work. [Dumb Little Man]</p> <p><a href="http://sustainablepersonalfinance.com/3-times-makes-sense-pay-someone-else-something/">3 Times it Makes Sense to Pay Someone to Do Something For You</a> &mdash; You may want to pay someone to do something for you if you don&#39;t have the equipment you need. [Sustainable Personal Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalconfessions.com/entertainment/5-ways-pinterest-has-added-value-to-my-frugal-life.php">5 Ways Pinterest has Added Value to My Frugal Life</a> &mdash; Did you know Pinterest can help you make expensive art for a fraction of its actual cost? [Frugal Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-and-why-to-plan-a-blessingway">How (and Why) to Plan a Blessingway</a> &mdash; A blessingway is the celebration of a woman&#39;s transition into motherhood. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-which-online-dating-service-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-love-online">Looking for Love (Online)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-launder-money">How to Launder Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-things-car-salesmen-dont-want-you-to-know">17 Things Car Salesmen Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-stay-single">6 Ways It Pays to Stay Single</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks best money tips Dating online dating service site Fri, 31 Jan 2014 11:00:14 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1122375 at http://www.wisebread.com Why do Facebook Ads not take me seriously? http://www.wisebread.com/why-does-facebook-ads-hate-single-heterosexual-women <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-does-facebook-ads-hate-single-heterosexual-women" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/oprah and sluts.jpg" alt="Oprah and ho-girls" title="Lose weight! Meet sexy singles!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="216" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&#39;s not exactly a secret that women ages 18-55 are a sought-after consumer demographic. According to a non-profit report issued by the YMCA, &quot;U.S. women spent some $7 billion a year, or an average of about $100 each, on cosmetics and beauty products.&quot; So, it&#39;s no surprise that social networking sites like Facebook want to capitalize on our deep pockets and obsession with appearance. </p> <p>I&#39;m not against consumerism or advertising. Hell, Google pays me for blogging using ad money, so I&#39;m not about to bite the hand that feeds me. Online social networking allows companies the unique ability to gather demographic information (given willingly by the users!) that they can use to deliver targeted ads. I actually think it&#39;s a fairly useful tool, and it should solve one of my biggest pet peeves of advertising: being bombarded by ads for things I don&#39;t need (vacuum cleaners) or care for (Monday night football). Honestly, the idea of having a company know enough about me to provide me with advertisements for things that I might WANT is fairly appealing.</p> <p>Here&#39;s what Facebook knows about me: I am single, and 31 years old. I am female. I&#39;ve been known to date men.</p> <p>When you sign up for Facebook, you enter a good deal of information about yourself. You don&#39;t HAVE to provide information about your sexual orientation or marital status, but I wasn&#39;t really thinking about the implications of all that when I signed up. Since I wasn&#39;t interested in dating via Facebook, I said I was interested in men and women for friendship, dating, etc. </p> <p>And although I didn&#39;t provide this info to Facebook, I also admit the following:</p> <ul> <li>I do meet and date people online. </li> <li>I could stand to lose a few pounds.</li> </ul> <p>Then why am I so irked every time I see a Facebook ad that asks me to try Oprah&#39;s amazing diet, or meet handsome and professional men online? </p> <p>Because <strong>these are the only ads that Facebook showed me</strong>. Oh, there are variations on the theme:</p> <ul> <li>Over 30 and lonely?</li> <li>Get wooed by handsome men! (ad always features a picture of the exact type of man that I do NOT want to be wooed by)</li> <li>Dr. Oz&#39;s Diet!</li> <li>Muffin Top? Lose ten pounds in a week!</li> </ul> <p>If these ads were mixed in with a variety of other ads for things like I want to buy, I&#39;d probably have no problem with them. For instance, I&#39;m in the market for a flat-panel television, and I&#39;m not really sure how to shop around for one. I&#39;ve been thinking of treating myself to a day spa in the Seattle area, but would like some sort of package deal that makes it worth the time, and money. Oh, and I&#39;m always in the market for a pair of black, knee-high boots.</p> <p>If Facebook cared to dig any deeper in my profile, they would notice that I belong to a fair number of liberal groups on through their site, and might start pushing Obama stickers towards me in great fistfuls. Or maybe they would see how often I am listening to music on Pandora, and casually throw the occasional concert tickets ad my way. They might notice from my status update references and fan club membershipts that I have a very serious crush on Hiro Nakamura. Couldn&#39;t one of the dating ads at least point me towards a site filled with nerdy Japanese guys who can bend time and space? </p> <p>But no - it was all diet and douchey-looking dudes. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/elitesingles.jpg" alt="singles" title="singles" width="152" height="196" />     <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/attorney.jpg" alt="attorney" title="attorney" width="154" height="202" /></p> <p>Why is this? I NEVER click on these ads. Do other women in my demographic click on these ads, thus giving Facebook the impression that I will as well? Are there simply no other ads that would apply to a 31 year-old single woman? </p> <p>A few months ago, Facebook started allowing users to <a href="http://blog.robwebb2k.com/2008/06/05/facebook-quietly-launches-advertising-feedback/">start voting</a> on the ads that they see. You can give a thumbs-up to an ad that you think is particularly interesting to you, and give a reason (good offer, relevant to me, etc.) or give a thumbs down and select a reason for that (irrelevant, uninteresting, pornographic). </p> <p>I didn&#39;t enter my demographic information into my Facebook profile with the idea that I would meet a life partner through it. I ignore friend invites from people that I don&#39;t know, and for me, Facebook was simply a good way to keep in touch with my family members (Facebook is huge in Saskatchewan, don&#39;t ask me why). Of course, I know that most social networking sites make their money from ads (as do bloggers, for that matter), but when I clicked &quot;Female&quot; and &quot;Single&quot;, it didn&#39;t occur to me that Facebook was going to assume that I was a lonely female version of Jabba the Hutt, longing to marry a single lawyer (see below) and produce little Jabbas.</p> <p>Despite the fact that I don&#39;t click these dating ads, and give them a thumbs down every single time I see them, Facebook continued to bombard me with them. As if that wasn&#39;t bad enough, Facebook ads apparently started to believe that the reason I wasn&#39;t clicking them was because I was getting jilted by my current lover.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/inlove.jpg" alt="in love" title="in love" width="145" height="190" />     <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/nocall.jpg" alt="great date no call?" title="great date no call?" width="156" height="186" /></p> <p>I&#39;m well aware that the minute a woman on Facebook chances her &#39;status&#39; from &#39;single&#39; to &#39;engaged&#39;, she <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/02/AR2008090202956.html">begins seeing ads</a> for wedding photographers, wedding dresses, and of course, pre-wedding diets. And if she gets hitched and changes her status from &#39;engaged&#39; to &#39;married&#39;, it&#39;s All Baby, All The Damn Time ads.</p> <p>Now, as a woman with a set of ovaries, I&#39;m not going to lie and say that I have no interest in getting married or having kids. These things are important to lots of women. But they&#39;re not ALL that&#39;s important to single women the world over. There are other things that we spend money on, like athletic shoes. And <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/autos/content/sep2007/bw20070920_795863.htm">cars</a>. We tend to buy lots of books; according to a <a href="http://contentconnections.com/pressroom/press_release_5_30_2007.html">study in 2007</a>, the average American woman who belongs to a social network spends about $500 a year on books. </p> <p>Why have I never seen an advertisement for a book when I&#39;m logged into Facebook?</p> <p>Hey, I care about health and weight loss, and I write about these topics myself. But I just can&#39;t get into fad diets, or the latest &quot;miracle&quot; food that supposedly burns fat directly off of my thighs, or an acai berry cleanse. I can cleanse using kale, thank you very much. </p> <p>A while ago, after getting incredibly fed-up with the barrage of &quot;LET SEXY MALE LAWYERS WOO YOU!&quot; ads that Facebook continued to display, I started to wonder if all women were seeing similar advertisements. Because Facebook tracks your married status and announces it to all of your friends, I didn&#39;t want to announce that I was engaged or married, so I settled on becoming a Facebook lesbian. What&#39;s the first ad that I saw as soon as I came out?</p> <p><em>An ad for small business services.</em></p> <p>What, do lesbians own an inordinate number of businesses or something? Are they crazy about business cards and pamphlets? Why would a straight woman who owns her own business not see this ad? Seriously, if this is what it takes for Facebook to consider me a consumer with needs beyond finding a man and dieting like a supermodel, sign me up.</p> <p>Sure, there were some &quot;Find the woman of your dreams&quot;-type ads and the requisite Olivia Cruises ads, but they were mixed in with a good deal of ads for interesting stuff - political ads, for example. I don&#39;t know if this is normal, but I stopped seeing weight-loss ads altogether. Either Facebook&#39;s algorithm seemed to realize how annoyed I was with the ads, or lesbians are all much more fit than heterosexual women.</p> <p>I asked some of my friends to log into Facebook and take screenshots of the ads that they were shown on a regular basis. Men over 40 years of age seem to get lots of offers to earn money by filling out surveys. Also, ads for a &quot;rolling razor&quot;. My friend Mike, who is over 40 and single, seems to get a lot of book ads, which annoys me to know end. Sure, he&#39;s a voracious reader, but c&#39;mon. He also gets Obama button offers and information on local real estate firms. Why doesn&#39;t Facebook assume that he, too, is desperate to get married?</p> <p>My married girlfriend Shannon, who is my age, sees ads for albums by someone named Amy Mcdonald. She also gets ads from her alma mater.</p> <p>My coworker just got married last week, so Facebook ads now implore her to check her credit score so that she can buy a house. Also, they apparently want her to start reproducing (&quot;Enter to win free diapers!&quot;).</p> <p>A very smart gal I know who refused to enter any demographic information into her Facebook profile gets a whole range of ads - Facebook doesn&#39;t realize that she&#39;s a single woman and thus isn&#39;t able to insult her intelligence or consumer habits. Yet. </p> <p>After weeks and weeks of voting down every single dating or weight-loss and dating ad shown to me (I finally just decided to remove my marital status and sexual orientation from Facebook altogether - it&#39;s really none of their business), I&#39;m finally starting to see ads for Netflix, like the one below:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u11/fatboy.jpg" alt="fatboy" title="fatboy" width="154" height="192" /></p> <p>Well, it&#39;s a start.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-does-facebook-ads-hate-single-heterosexual-women">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-a-sweetheart-scam">How to Avoid a &quot;Sweetheart Scam&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-tv">Life Without Television</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-to-reduce-your-risk-of-diabetes">10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-habits-that-are-quietly-making-you-fat-and-have-nothing-to-do-with-eating">7 Habits That Are Quietly Making You Fat (and Have Nothing to Do With Eating)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-killer-ways-to-really-actually-lose-weight">7 Killer Ways to Really, Actually Lose Weight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology advertisements consumerism diet facebook ads online dating online marketing single social networking weight loss Fri, 26 Sep 2008 18:37:48 +0000 Andrea Karim 2453 at http://www.wisebread.com Looking for Love (Online) http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-love-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/looking-for-love-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000055030446_Large.jpg" alt="couple online dating" title="couple online dating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ack! Valentine's Day is here, and you're without a date! What to do?</p> <p>I used to get a few single friends together, drink champagne, and watch Sex in the City. You can opt to embrace the solitude, either through doing something that only you like doing (<a href="/last-minute-free-valentines-day-gift-ideas">folding origami stuff</a>), or by listening to Mary J. Blige and weeping your eyes out.&nbsp;Or, you can post a personal ad, and get yourself a date.</p> <p>Many consumer-focused groups and other websites have already rated online dating sites. I don't feel like anyone who writes these articles has actually DATED, much less dated online, so I'm here to offer my perspective on a few of the top sites.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist - Free</h2> <p>I started looking for love online when I lived in the Bay Area in 2000. Craigslist was still limited to that one metropolitan area, and was largely used by techies and start-up types, which meant that everyone there was more or less, educated, literate, and fairly trustworthy. Unfortunately, the general population soon discovered Craigslist, which means that personals ads often read like this:</p> <blockquote><p style="font-size: 12pt">Looking for Affectrionate, atrractive and down-to-earth Princess - 40</p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p class="blockquote">I drive, I have a 2 dogs,2cats,fish and a bird the never stops talking he is funny. Any ways if u want to know more just ask.</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite the fact that the Craigslist dating pool is now extremely diluted by illiterate mouth-breathers, there are some good people to be found on there. But you have to <em>search</em>. Now is actually a good time &mdash; even if you are boycotting Valentine's Day, you'll find that the number of personal ads on Craigslist spikes around V-Day. Go ahead and peruse the site and see what you can find.</p> <p>Craigslist is also great because you don't have to create an account to find a date &mdash; you can just reply to other people's ads. Most importantly, and the reason why I discussed it first, Craigslist costs nadda.&nbsp;You can't get cheaper than free. Don't believe me? Post an ad offering a perfectly good, one-year-old, flat panel, 17&quot; television set for $50 and see how many people offer you $3 for it.</p> <p>One tip for all online dating: Create a nice, anonymous email account that does <em>not</em> include your real name or any personal info. There are some crazies out there.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free.<br /> <strong>Time investment:</strong> Considerable, there's a lot of wading to do.<br /> <strong>Hand-holding:</strong> Nope, you're on your own.<br /> <strong>Grievances:</strong> Some weird, weird people out there.<br /> <strong>Exclusivity:</strong> God, no.</p> <h2>2. Gay/Lesbian Singles Online - Mostly Free</h2> <p>Okay, I haven't used this site, but they seem to be fairly trustworthy &mdash; they won't spam you or sell your info to anyone else. There are plenty of listings, which is good, because other sites have a real dearth of gay postings. Craigslist, in particular, is a difficult place for lesbians to find love - many cities just don't have that many postings, and the ones that do don't share photo. <a href="http://gaysinglesonline.com/">Gay Singles Online</a> and its gal-only counterpart, <a href="http://lesbianpersonalsonline.com/">Lesbian Singles Online</a>, offer some hope for the Sapphic searcher.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> They claim to be free, but seem to offer paid premium memberships.<br /> <strong>Time investment:</strong> Medium &mdash; not as bad as eHarmony.<br /> <strong>Hand-holding:</strong> Nope.<br /> <strong>Grievances:</strong> None from me, but some experienced online daters might want to provide feedback.<br /> <strong>Exclusivity:</strong> It would probably help if you were some flavor of queer.</p> <h2>3. Match.com and Yahoo Personals</h2> <p>These, I totally avoid. Once I learned that both companies have been accused of sending false emails to people looking for love, I abandoned the idea of using them. Taking advantage of the lovelorn isn't okay. Homey don't roll like that.</p> <h2>4. eHarmony - Not Cheap</h2> <p>eHarmony is famous for using really long, drawn-out surveys and Jungian archetypes to determine your best match. When I first signed up for eHarmony out of curiosity (could they really match me with someone good?), I was informed that there was no one within 100 miles of my home that would be even close to a good match for me. I sort of figured that that meant that I was either impossible to deal with (maybe) or that eHarmony had a really small dating pool.</p> <p>Turned out that the latter was correct, because when I signed up again a few years later, I found that there were dozens of men that apparently matched me in every conceivable aspect of my personality. Which was kind of good, but also kind of frightening. eHarmony is really aggressive about informing you that you have a new match, and after a while, I found that I had to narrow my definition of &quot;acceptable&quot; to slow down the onslought of available men.</p> <p>I never actually met anyone off of eHarmony, and closed the account when I became overwhelmed by the wave of communicating men. I felt cheated, first because eHarmony is really expensive, and second, because I had spent hours going through all of the surveys and questions and explanations, and I never really managed to go on a date. I can't blame eHarmony for this. But I can blame for the whopping price, the miselading emails (the ones that tell you to come back for only $19.99 a month, but negelect to mention that that's only if you sign up for another 12 months).</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Not frugal &mdash; roughly $50/month, less per month if you buy more months.<br /> <strong>Time investment:</strong> Intense. Many questions to answer.<br /> <strong>Hand-holding:</strong> So much so that you might forget how to feed yourself without eHarmony there.<br /> <strong>Grievances:</strong> Mainly the price, but also the fact that&nbsp;founder of eHarmony has, in the past, beeny against same-sex coupling.<br /> <strong>Exclusivity:</strong> Yes &mdash; the people on here make enough money to spend at least $40/month looking for a mate, and you are matched based on a very extensive list of factors, so you are less likely to get stuck on a date with someone who has an entirely different value system than you do. Also, someone who can afford hundreds of dollars per year in online dating expenses probably has most of their own teeth. Still in their mouth.</p> <p>There are many specialized sites out there that cater to every type, and new ones are popping up every day. Explore your options! Date! Love! Go now!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-love-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-cool-bar-tricks-that-anyone-can-master">SIX cool bar tricks that anyone can master.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap">How to Get Rid of All Your Crap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-category-on-craigslist-to-be-renamed-haul-away-my-old-bulky-broken-crap-for-free">“Free” category on Craigslist to be renamed “Haul away my old, bulky, broken crap for free.”</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/couplehood-avoiding-the-valentine-cliches">Couplehood: Avoiding the Valentine Clichés</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks craigslist date eHarmony fees free love Match.com online dating personals Valentine Wed, 14 Feb 2007 20:27:48 +0000 Andrea Karim 274 at http://www.wisebread.com